Tripel Karmeliet Pie

Kris:  Karmeliet is an iconic Belgian beer for me. Slightly sweet, citrusy and finishing with a subtle peppery, spicy flavour.Perfect as an ingredient and accompaniment to a Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie. 

 Finely slice half a brown onion and some leek and cook off in some olive oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes. 

Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, some sprigs of fresh thyme, sliced bacon and some cracked pepper. 

Cook for a couple of minutes and pour in 2/3’s bottle of Tripel Karmeliet.

Add 4-5 sliced mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add some shredded roast chicken and keep simmering.
(We had roast chicken the night before, a great way to use up leftovers)

Add some finely sliced silverbeet and season with salt and cracked pepper.

Pour in some cream and after a couple of minutes spoon out some of the warm liquid from the pan and put in a separate bowl. To this, whisk a Tbs of flour until smooth and then add back to the pan mixture and stir through. (doing this in a small separate bowl helps prevent flour lumps)

Take the filling mixture off the heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 C 

 Caroline: Cut out circles of puff pastry using whatever you have handy. We don’t have cookie cutters, so I used a coffee mug for my circles, get resourceful.

Caroline: Grab some baking paper to cut up; one circle for the base of each muffin mold to prevent sticking, and a square for your blind bake.
A blind bake is a quick bake of your base, giving it a bit of an extra cook so it doesn’t get too soggy when you add the filling.

Place your puff pastry circle in your muffin pan and press the edges against the walls. Put a square of baking paper over the puff pastry and fill it with rice or dry beans, this way it keeps it’s cupped shape. Bake for 5 min in 200 C oven.

Kris: Remove from the oven, discard the rice or beans and add the cooled pie filling. Add the top piece of pastry, pinch the edges to the base and glaze with some melted butter.

 Bake at 180 C for 25-30 minutes, until the top layer of pastry is golden and flaky.

Kris: This is such a great recipe for the season right now. Warm days and mild nights. It works so well with the beer too.

Caroline: So delicious! While I don’t really like Karmeliet on its own to drink, it was great in the pie! You could taste the perfect amount of beer-y bitterness and wheat-y funk cutting through the creamy filling. And, made in a muffin tray, each pie is perfect snack size (easier to justify eating a couple of them….)


International Beers Matched with Australian Cheese

Thought cheese matching was just for wine? Well, think again!

Tonight we had 4 Australian cheeses with quince paste and tasted/matched them with 4 international beers.
The cheese were (clockwise starting from back left):

Lochelien Brie from  Victoria

Grandvewe Sapphire Blue from Tasmania

Woodside Edith Ashed Goats Cheese from South Australia

Pyengana Cloth Bound Cheddar from Tasmania

I matched the Brie with Emmerson’s Pilsner from New Zealand. I love the aroma of the New Zealand hops in this beer.The dryness and citrus flavour of the beer cuts through the richness of this creamy, french style brie.

Tripel Karmeliet is a perfect match for the Woodside ashed goats cheese. Hefeweizens also pair really well with goats cheese, particularly Chevre.

The salty, nutty flavour of the aged Pyengana cloth bound cheddar goes really well with a malty English Pale Ale. Timothy Taylors is one of my favourites.

Finally Rochefort 8 with Grandvewe Sapphire Blue. The cheese is a ripe, creamy blue made from organic sheeps milk. It needs a big beer to match it’s rich flavour. These two are a match made in heaven.

Beer is an extremely versatile match with food and particularly cheese. There really is no right or wrong. Part of the fun is experimenting and finding out what works and what doesn’t.

Below is a general guide to get you started:

Marscapone/Creme Fraiche with Fruit Beers

Goats/Fetta with Wheat Beers

Havarti/Colby with Pilseners

Brie/Camembert with Dry Lagers

Aged Cheddar with malty Pale Ales and Brown Ales

Blue Cheese with Strong, dark Belgian beers and Barleywines

Parmesan with Stout or super hoppy Pale Ales and Amber Ales